Over the years, I’ve spent most of my time reading fiction. Mostly murder mysteries but a little bit of this or that thrown in when I was desiring something a little different.
A little over a two years ago, I added to my reading material with non-fiction books that could help me grow spiritually.
As this habit grew and developed, I found myself settling into a pattern. I would read my non-fiction book in the morning with a cup of coffee and pair it with my daily Bible reading and prayer time. Fiction still ruled supreme for bed time reading but I found that I liked this new habit.
I think of books intimately. They are chosen by the reader and speak deep into the spirit like no other form of media can. For this reason, I’ve never shared a reading list.
However, as I’ve striven to find find books that will challenge my spiritual growth without being spiritually childish or new-age-y, I’ve been met with difficulty. I don’t want to expose myself to teachings that aren’t backed-up by Scripture but I also don’t want to be given “milk” over and over again.
Maybe you’re in the same position or maybe you haven’t even started looking down this avenue because you’re afraid of what you may find. Well, I’m here to give you five books that may just be what you’re searching for.
- The Insanity of God: A true story of faith resurrected by Nik Ripkin — This book was suggested to my by one of my former students and I’m so glad I listened to her. The Insanity of God is a very personal story about a couple who dared to live a missionary life. This book is told from the husband’s point of view and it gets very real and raw at times. He examines the struggles of Christianity in what can only be described as hostile places. The stories of faith in locations where it seems God is absent are amazing and challenging. At times it left me questioning the debates and fights that many American’s see as important. This book challenged my prayer time and my point of view.
- Radical: Taking back your faith from the American Dream by David Platt — Radical received more attention than some of the other books I’ve read recently but that doesn’t make it any more or less good. The author challenges the reader to consider how true Biblical living simply cannot match the American way of life. As with The Insanity of God, I was challenged to evaluate my thought patterns and re-consider many of the things I had thought of as Gospel.
- Intercessory Prayer: How God can use your prayers to move heaven and earth by Dutch Sheets — I’ve read this book several times over that last couple of years and I’ll probably read it a few more before I’m done on this earth. It’s one of my favorite books on maturing in prayer. Intercessory Prayer is about partnering with God to pray His will into a situation. It’s about being sensitive to God’s heart and His direction for a time or situation. Each time I read this book, I’m reminded that my prayer time shouldn’t just be about asking God for this or that but that I am God’s vessel here on earth. Prayer is a powerful weapon that God has given to the Church and I want to be able to wield it to the best of my ability.
- The Voice of God by Cindy Jacobs — As someone striving to grow in a well-rounded spiritual maturity, I’ve been working to grow in spiritual gifted-ness. The Voice of God focuses on the spiritual gift of prophecy and how such a gift functions in today’s world. The author offers some great insights on this much debated and often un-talked about gift. As long as a person acknowledges that God is still at work through prophecy today, this book is balanced and beneficial. She gives proper understanding to order within the Church and balance to a gift that can be pressed too far. Personally, I loved this book. I found it helpful for growth and development of my own spiritual gifting.
- Translating God: Hearing God’s voice for yourself and the world around you by Shawn Bolt — Translating God was an easy read but with a lot of simple information. The author gives a great amount of attention to love and how to channel that love through the prophetic gift. The focus is less on the development of gifts and more of living with a heart of God’s love. However, there are some great lessons on how to grow in the prophetic gift, how to stay accountable, and how to grow in God. I enjoyed this book because it was very practical.
Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts? Do you have any suggestions of books to place on my radar?